I enjoyed most subjects in high school—with the exceptions of physics and art.
Growing up, I had this idea that there were three main occupations that would bring the highest accolade: physician, lawyer, and engineer. When I had to choose a college major, I decided to pursue a pre-professional health track, since I was interested in biology. After taking an introductory course, I was smitten with psychology, and I quickly added it as a complementary major. By my junior year, I realized that my interest in the medical field was dwindling. I still enjoyed learning about the infinite complexity of living things, but I could not foresee myself living out the physician’s lifestyle. I loved watching House and Scrubs, but my interest stopped with TV. This is why internships have been so critical in my career path.
The summer of 2010 brought along my first internship: Human Resources Intern at OneAmerica, in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. I was glad I took on this rather unconventional internship (for a science major) because of the chance to explore psychology in the workplace. For three months, I rotated between the different HR teams, helping with their projects, finding out that I really enjoyed employee improvement. To my pleasant surprise, my internship was extended for another 3 weeks in order for me to work on a special project focused on analyzing employee surveys. Throughout that summer, not only did I interact with the 20+ interns at OneAmerica, but I also had the pleasure of getting to know my mentor, Ms. Debby Routt. To this day, we still meet over lunch to catch up. And, I get the chance to pick her brain on career issues.
Coming into my senior year of college, I had already been committed to the Student Government Association at Anderson University (AU), but I also wanted to explore Student Life. I worked with the Career Services office to create my own internship with the Director of Student Leadership. I was blessed that the Director, Ms. Abby Knowles, was a natural mentor and was interested in taking me under her wing for a full year. Between updating the webpage and leading seminar sessions, I realized that not only was I interested in Student Life, but also with professorship.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology, I found out that AU offered a 10-month intensive MBA program, and I thought: “might as well.” As part of this program, I resided with 18 MBA students and attended classes twice weekly; I also had an internship with the Madison County Community Foundation. This internship provided me with a venue to see the theoretical concepts of the classroom applied in action. By the time I graduated, I knew I wanted to go into marketing because of my natural inclination to taking on related tasks in work and classroom projects.
The summer of 2013 brought along my fourth, and current, internship: Marketing and Communications Intern at Indiana INTERNnet, which is again in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Although I am only a month in, I know this is where I belong: managing social media, creating content, and analyzing marketing data. I could not have asked for a better internship. I am hoping that the knowledge and experience I am gaining at Indiana INTERNnet will propel me into a career in marketing and a lifetime of learning and discovery.
As you can tell, the past few years have been a journey of self-discovery – not that it will end here. However, I know in what direction I am heading, and without my internship experiences, who knows where I might be? What have your internship experiences been like? Have they shaped your career track as dramatically as mine have?